Link Building: Corrupting Content Quality & Audience Awareness

Carson Ward Talks About Link Earning vs. Link Building

Link Building is not a sustainable marketing tactic and should be stripped from the vocabulary of every marketing strategist. This is the theme for recent Moz post by Carson Ward. He pleads us all to start calling it “link earning” and not link building. Of course the proposed rebranding of building links is to change more than popular SEO jargon. We need to change the practice and disproportionate energy we put in to this misled effort and redirect it to a place that will undeniably help us all.

Profitability is the goal. Now, the sensible marketing-101 thinker in all of us is shrugging and reading on. Relax your furrowed brow and listen closely. Link EARNING is a benchmark of quality content and true audience awareness. It has to stop being a focused process that is over shadowing the real goal: profit. Ward asks us to “Consider this, if you are “link building,” you’re either spamming links or doing online marketing.” Disassociate your online foot print from spammers.

Points to consider:

Wrong question: How can I get more links?

Better Question: How can I drive more qualified traffic and increase profit per qualified visitor?

Think bigger picture: “Why obsess over a small HTML element when we have the ability and skills to improve multiple metrics and build visibility with or without Google?” Focus on site content, your product, public relations, research, outreach, guest posting, social media, etc.

Google has and is cracking down: Ward suggests, “we need to stop leading people to death by Penguin” and that “It’s a mistake to underestimate what Google can and will do. Modern Google is not a link-counting machine.” Give Google what they want. Matt Cutts has made it clear that Google finds the most value in activity that means true reputation and authority.

Market to your audience and the “good links” will come. “When we focus on links as a process and a goal, we’re working towards the measurement rather than the goal the measurement was intended to measure.” Revenue first, traffic Second, and rankings third.

Carson Ward’s article titled “7 Reasons to Remove “Link Building” from Our Vocabulary” was posted to the Moz Blog on July 15th 2013. Go forth and stop building links and start earning them.


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